We've loosened ourselves up, dipped out toes in the water. Now it's time to jump head first into it.
We have walked down the hall and took a peak at the Christmas tree, now our parents are up and it's time to un-wrap and de-box all of our gifts.
The appetizers are over, now it is the time for the feast.
For five straight days, there will be a steady stream of football streamed directly to your picture box device and played locally in your nearest stadium.
There is no more waiting, no more counting down. This is it, the moment we've been thinking directly or indirectly about since January. Eight months have passed since Clemson defeated Alabama in one of the all-time great games in college football history, and now everyone takes their first step toward (or away from) contention for a playoff spot.
The centerpiece here is Ohio State playing Indiana in Bloomington, which is the successful end of the long journey that has been #iufb4gameday. ESPN is blowing out for this game, giving it the National Championship broadcast treatment: standard broadcast, all--22, Coaches’ Room, homer broadcast, the whole nine yards.
And they really timed it well, because this is probably the worst kickoff Thursday we’ve had in quite some time. There’s not really anything of note outside of PJ Fleck’s first game at Minnesota.
Friday Night Lights Shift
We ramp things up a bit before Saturday with three games of note.
First, Washington travels to Rutgers for some reason. I’m expecting Washington to decimate the Scarlet Knights, but the fact that they’re kicking off their season on the other side of this massive rock we call America leads me to believe that there will be some #BodyClock shenanigans occurring early on. And if there is one thing we love, it’s screencaps of a heavy dog struggling on the road in week one to a lesser opponent before pulling away for good and being who we thought they were.
And then Kiffykins first game as head coach at FAU comes against Navy, and nothing could possibly go wrong there nope not at all. Definitely won’t start the season by being strangled to death by the triple option and producing some more of those sweet sweet screencaps that he provided en mass at USC.
And lastly, the most remarkably interesting thing of the night:
Nooner 1/13 Shift
It’s not the worst nooner I’ve ever seen, but it is top heavy when Maryland and Texas highlight the shift along with Cal-UNC. Now I want to say that Texas should outclass Maryland in Tom Herman’s first game in burnt orange, but a school loses that privilege after they lose to KANSAS. K-A-N-S-A-S.
But I am telling you upfront, Cal and North Carolina may be trash game in terms of defense but it is going to be A FUN AS HELL trash game. Let’s get stupid on the scoreboard to start the nooner.
The rest are “eh, I guess” games that constitute likely blowouts of lesser opponents by P5 teams, with Wyoming and Iowa being the only game that might actually become something more, if Wyoming can find a quality quarterback for the game. Constant problem for them, lack of a solid quarterback. Never even heard of the guy that’s supposed to be starting.
Now Kith Shift
The will they or won’t they make out tension of Jim Harbaugh and Jim McElwain has eclipsed the good game promise of Troy-Boise State, sadly. But that’s what we have multiple screens for!
Everything is is kinda more of the same “eh, I guess” carryover from the nooner, which is odd. Usually the Uncle Verne Shift is where the drama of the college football Saturday really kicks off, but we just have more sterile games in week one. Temple and Notre Dame, NC State and South Carolina in Charlotte, Lincoln Riley’s first game at OU against UTEP, and at the end of the shift Georgia hosts noted legend killers App State. Kentucky tries to avenge their loss to Southern Miss in Hattiesburg, which is hilarious in a few ways. Not sure if that game will actually turn into the same result it held last year, but keep a finger on the pulse of that one.
By the time this comes out there will be 1,000 think pieces on Bama-FSU and what “it means”, so I won’t waste my breath (keystrokes) and your time there. It’s a big game, it’s two national title favorites, watch it. Done.
And yeah, LSU will play BYU in New Orleans after Harvey crippled the city of Houston. It’s our chance to finally see Matt Canada’s shot at revamping the offense, but after BYU’s performance last week against Portland State I don’t think we’ll see anything crazy from Matt Canada. LSU should pull away in the old fashioned way by feeding Guice and Dave Aranda’s defense should slam the door shut, allowing the offense to go vanilla all the way home. That is, unless BYU themselves was holding back against Portland State and has some surprises in store for LSU. Probably not though.
What lowkey might be a great game is Louisville playing Purdue in Indianapolis, especially if Jeff Brohm has scraped together something equal to or comparable to the offense he had at Western Kentucky. If so, we could get a major upset in the evening undercard.
Elsewhere, Ole Miss hosts South Alabama in the American Bowl, Auburn plays Georgia Southern and their triple option attack, and Vandy visits Middle Tennessee State. The chance that the SEC may go winless in the evening shift is...not insignificant.
First PAC-12 After Dark Shift
What good is the fist PAC-12 After Dark shift if Washington State isn’t highlighting it by playing an FCS team that is VERY capable of beating them? The answer is none, reader.
Battle On The Bluff Shift
Southern hosts South Carolina State as part of the MEAC/SWAC challenge, and that game will go unimpeded on ESPN2, which is kinda cool to see.
“College Football? On A Sunday? What Is This, A Crossover Episode?” Shift
I really like these two matchups in terms of potential quality, but if we’re being honest all four teams have a tendency to disappoint and I see no reason as to why we should expect any different in week one. But no matter what happens, we’ll have non-conference power five games, which is always a good thing.
(Unpaid) Labor Day Shift
Georgia Tech and Tennessee finish out week one of the college football season in Atlanta’s newest and largest Chick-Fil-A.